Florida’s first and only black elected state attorney was pulled over in a traffic stop said she hopes to use the incident as a teachable moment for the community.

Aramis Ayala was pulled over by Orlando Police pulling her over in a June 19 traffic stop. It lasts little more than a minute after two officers find out who she is, prompting some social media users to suggest racial bias was at play.

Orlando Police said the stop was lawful; Ayala has conceded that the stop appears to be “consistent” with the law but insists she did nothing wrong. Ayala was driving a state-issued vehicle when she was pulled over after leaving Florida A&M University College of Law, where she had taught class that evening.

“What agency are you with?” the officer with the body camera asks as he looks at her identification.

“I’m the state attorney” she responds.

Ayala’s car actually had a protected license plate, since it was a state issued vehicle. And the officer gave bogus reasons as to why he pulled her over.

“That’s how we figure out if cars are stolen and that sort of thing,” he responds.

“Also, the windows are really dark, I don’t have a tint measure but that’s another reason for the stop,” he adds.

Ayala smiles and then asks for his card.

“To be clear, I violated no laws. The license plate, while confidential was and remains properly registered. The tint was in no way a violation of Florida law,” she said in an interview after the stop made its way to the public.
“Although the traffic stop appears to be consistent with Florida law (my) goal is to have a constructive and mutually respectful relationship between law enforcement and the community,” she said.
I look forward to sitting down to have an open dialogue with the Chief of Orlando Police Department regarding how this incident impacts that goal.”
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